Viacom has closed its US$725 million (£450 million) takeover of British broadcaster Channel 5 and announced the first joint commissions between C5 and its pay-TV networks.
The U.S. entertainment giant announced its intention to takeover C5 from Northern & Shell Media Group on May 1 and was cleared to do so by European regulators on Wednesday (September 10).
In finalizing the acquisition, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman pledged to increase investment in British production.
“We are committed to strengthening Channel 5′s status as one of UK broadcasting’s premier brands, and we will continue to grow the network’s pipeline of original programming with more quality commissions, as well as acquisitions,” he said in statement. “The addition of Channel 5 will also benefit our existing UK pay television channel portfolio.”
The first joint commission between C5 and MTV UK is the social experiment program 10,000 BC (10 x 60 minutes), which will premiere on C5 next year. A shorter spin-off version (5 x 60 minutes) will air on MTV UK.
Produced by The Garden and GroupM Entertainment, the show follows 20 people who exchange the comforts of modern life to live outdoors in stone age-like conditions. They must hunt animals, forage for food and subsist off the land as cameras roll 24/7.
Additionally, C5 and Nickelodeon will co-finance, develop and produce the animated series Nella the Knight for C5′s pre-school strand “Milkshake.” Both networks will share the broadcast rights.
Viacom will retain C5′s ad sales team, with commercial director of sales Nick Brampton and COO Paul Dunthorne joining Viacom International Media Networks’ senior management team alongside program director Ben Frow.